Sarah Boyd


The 9 most powerful questions to get perspective in a difficult situation

Know A Drama Queen? Here’s How To Deal With Them

Do you know someone who always wants attention, is extremely dramatic and sexually provocative? You could be dealing with someone with Histrionic Personality Disorder.

Sarah Boyd

This article is Part 3 of a 4 Part series on specific personality disorders you are most likely to find in business and leadership. See my previous post links at end of this article.

From my university psychology study and personal leadership experience I’ve noticed that personality disorders go largely undetected in business and leadership and can cause great and long term damage to relationships and the organisation.

Disclaimer: The only way an individual can be officially diagnosed with a personality disorder is by a trained mental health professional using the DSM criteria. This information is to provide everyday knowledge to equip leaders to be able to identify when you may need professional help.



This individual uses drama and sexually provocative behaviour to maintain the constant attention of others. This individual is more likely to be in a team member role, rather than a leadership role. They are also more likely to be female, rather than male.

The Histrionic:

1. Has extreme attention seeking behaviour. These individuals turn every conversation, situation and work day into an eventful time. ‘Crazy’ things always ‘seem’ to happen to them.

2. Is very emotional and often referred to by others as a ‘drama queen’. They are often very sensitive and dramatise their own life events in order to stay centre of attention.

3. Is often perceived by others as shallow.

4. Has a lot  difficulty with emotional intimacy in relationships. This is particularly true when it comes to genuine vulnerability.

5. Craves novelty and excitement. They get bored easily with normal routine and long term relationships.

6. Often uses physical appearance and sexually provocative behaviour to get attention.

7. Often doesn’t have good relationships with same-sex friends because of their sexual behaviour. This sexual behaviour can often isolate them from friendships as people around them don’t trust them.

8. Cannot handle delayed gratification.

9. Are lively, interesting and flirtations. They live very dramatic lives.

10. Often considers relationships to be more intimate than they actually are. They tell you they’re ‘besties’ with everyone you know.



If you are potentially hiring this person: look out for sexually inappropriate dressing and behaviour even in the interview process. Also be wary of dramatic events that may have interfered with their attendance of the interview.

If this person is in a team you are leading: be very aware of physical boundaries and appropriateness. Never put yourself or other team members in a position that could be interpreted inappropriately. Also be aware of your won and other team members vulnerabilities to this kind of behaviour.

Because this individual does not cope when they are not the centre of attention, much of your time will be spent focusing your team to the task at hand, and away from distractions. 

If this person is your leader: although unlikely to be in a leadership position, be aware of personal boundaries and how much focus is being given to leadership as opposed to their personal life.

As always if needed, report their behaviour to HR or an oversight. Your own mental health, integrity and self esteem are more important than situations that we can find ourselves entangled in.


For other posts on personality disorders:

1. Narcissistic Personality Disorder: “Know someone obsessed with themselves?”

2. Borderline Personality Disorder: “Know someone unstable, emotional and explosive?” 

3. Dependent Personality Disorder: “Know someone indecisive, clingy and dependent?” 

Or an Introduction:  “How to know you’re dealing with a dangerous work colleague”


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The 9 most powerful questions to get perspective in a difficult situation.